Fig Hamantaschen

One of the traditional foods for the Jewish festival of Purim is a triangular cookie known as hamantaschen, said to represent the three-cornered hat worn by the Purim story’s villain, Haman. These cookies are usually filled with fruit jam or a poppy seed paste. In this easy hamentaschen recipe, California Fig puree provides the filling for these buttery, orange-scented cookies. Dip a corner of fig hamantaschen into melted chocolate for an extra-special treat! Cookies will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

When Purim comes along, the first thing we want to bake is fig hamantaschen. Look no further for easy hamentaschen recipes filled with sweet dried fig.

Fig Hamantaschen

Course Dessert
Servings 24 cookies

Ingredients

Fig Hamantaschen Cookie Dough

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 orange

Fig Filling

  • 6 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, chopped (about 1 1/3 cups chopped figs)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Chocolate Glaze

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • Additional orange zest and crushed pistachios for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Make Hamantaschen Dough

  1. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and process for a few seconds until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract and the zest of the orange. Add the egg mixture to the food processor and process for thirty seconds. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, gather into a ball and knead until it comes together. Divide dough in half and form into two discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Prepare the Fig Filling

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the chopped figs, sugar, 3/4 of a cup water, and the juice from the orange. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the figs have softened, about 6-8 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and the cardamom. Allow to cool slightly. Puree the fig mixture with an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor and puree.

Make the Cookies

  1. Remove one of the disks from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to roll out. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin to 1/4 inch thickness. (Do not roll them too thin or the filling will leak.)

  2. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, or round drinking glass, cut out circles of dough.. Gather up the scraps and roll them out a second time to cut out more circles. (You should be able to get a dozen circles.) Place 6 circles on each cookie sheet.

Fill the Fig Hamantaschen

  1. Spoon a teaspoon of the fig puree in the center of the dough circle.

  2. Create the classic triangle shape for the fig hamantaschen, by doing a series of three folds. First, fold one side of the cookie in so that the edge comes to the middle of the jam filling. Fold the second side in the same way and so that it partially covers the first side. Finally, fold the remaining side up and in so that it overlaps the other two sides. Pinch the seams together. Chill the cookies for at least ten minutes prior to baking.

  3. Bake for 15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining disk of dough.

Make Chocolate Glaze

  1. Place the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on medium power for 30 seconds. Stir. (If chocolate is not completely melted, continue microwaving for thirty second-intervals and stirring until melted.)

  2. Dip one corner of each cookie into the melted chocolate. While chocolate is still wet, sprinkle on orange zest and/or crushed pistachios, if using. Return cookies to a cooking rack to allow the chocolate to harden.

Recipe and photos by Emily Paster

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Figgy Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

Everyone needs a ringer gluten free chocolate cake recipe. Chocolate ganache ices the top and chewy figs are baked into every bite of this moist loaf cake.
Image credit: Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Pockets of soft figs punctuate the tender crumb of this deeply chocolatey gluten free cake smothered in creamy ganache. You don’t have to be gluten free to enjoy this moist cake—you’ll never guess it’s gluten-free! Store the flours in the freezer and that makes it easy to bake this gluten free chocolate cake recipe whenever you get the urge, since most of the other ingredients are staples that you might already have in your pantry. While you can use measuring cups to portion out the ingredients, if you have a kitchen scale, this is a two bowl kind of loaf cake. and one that everyone can enjoy. Chocolate and California Figs from Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid are natural partners to pair in baking and this is a cake you don’t want to miss!

Everyone needs a ringer gluten free chocolate cake recipe. Chocolate ganache ices the top and chewy figs are baked into every bite of this moist loaf cake.
Image credit: Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Figgy Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

Course Dessert
Calories 340 kcal

Ingredients

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

  • 1-2 teaspoons softened butter, for pan
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 3/4 cup (5 oz) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (2 3/4 oz) sweet white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) almond flour
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) gluten free oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons (1/2 oz) tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (4 oz) coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (~70% cocoa mass)
  • 1 cup (6 oz) Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped

Ganache

  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) bittersweet chocolate (~70% cocoa mass)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnishes

  • Handful Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and sliced into rounds
  • Handful toasted sliced almonds, optional
  • Sprinkle coarse pink salt or flaky sea salt, optional

Instructions

  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350ºF. Butter a loaf pan and line on all sides with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, brown sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, sweet rice flour, almond flour, oat flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt, adding back anything that gets caught in sifter. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture until combined. Stir in chocolate and figs.

  3. Scrape batter into pan and bake until a toothpick inserted near center comes out with moist crumbs, 55-65 minutes.

  4. Let cake cool 15 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

  5. To make ganache, heat cream in small saucepan to a simmer. Place chocolate in small heatproof bowl and pour hot cream over. Let sit 1 minute, then add salt and vanilla and whisk smooth.

  6. Let ganache sit until thickened slightly, 20-30 minutes, then pour over cake. Let sit until ganache is mostly set, 10-20 minutes, then decorate top with sliced figs, almonds, and coarse salt. Cut cake into slices using a large, sharp chef’s knife dipped in hot water and wiped clean between each cut.

  7. Store cake at room temperature for up to 1 day or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Recipe and photos by Alanna Taylor-Tobin

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re baking with California Figs on Instagram and Facebook!

Meal Prep Ideas for Real Life

When January rolls around, we all like the clean start of trying again and one thing that can make healthy eating accessible is to plan ahead.

Start Here: Recipes & Meal Prep Ideas

We partnered with our friends at Bob’s Red Mill and savvy food bloggers to talk about setting SMART goals and thinking through meal prep ideas for real life. Find the food blogger meal preparation ideas and recipes featuring our California Mission Dried Figs and their organic farro or organic whole wheat flour by clicking on the recipe name below the photos.

And, then, we opened up the question over on Instagram and found a vibrant assortment of meal prep ideas that we can’t wait to share with you! Each idea is tagged with the person who shared it. So, head down past the recipes to dig into those crowd-sourced 46 meal preparation ideas (and share your own in the comments!

Whole wheat sheet pan pancakes with California Fig Swirl are one of our top meal prep ideas for easy breakfasts all week.

California Fig Swirled Whole Wheat Sheet Pan Pancakes

Whole wheat muffins with dried figs will be the healthy on-the-go breakfast you'll prep on Sunday for a successful week ahead and one of our favorite meal prep ideas. Share your meal preparation ideas with us in the comments!

Whole Wheat Muffins with Figs

Le Petit Eats Farro Salad with Figs and Maple Tahini Dressing is one of our favorite meal prep ideas for easy lunches all week.

Farro & Fig Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Whole wheat chocolate chunk with figs is a go-to breakfast and one of our favorite meal prep ideas for snacktime too.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chunk Fig Bread

Turn to one of our trusty meal prep ideas to get out of a cooking rut. Getting ready for the week can be easy, as these meal preparation ideas prove.

Seedy Farro Breakfast Bowl with Warmed Figs & Pears

46 Meal Prep Ideas for Real Life

1/ Read your recipe first to ensure you have the proper tools, sufficient time and space, and adequate food to make the meal a success. – @lexiquin

2/ Prep your produce when you get home from grocery to save time later. – @annmuth

3/ Best tip is to prep all food when you get home. If fruits and veggies are ready then you’ll use them. 😋 – @farmgirliee

4/ I like to chop my veggies and fruits so they’re ready to eat! – @bluebecks

5/ Go grocery shopping the day before and have a list when you go shopping. – @yaz_gets_fit

6/ Use frozen veggies when you can. – @anissa_denise823

7/ Cook in large batches and freeze the extra! – @healthy_happy_and_free

8/ Write it down so you know exactly what to eat. @senyorg

9/ My meal prep tip is to start a sourdough starter! Fresh natural yeast, amazing gut bacteria, and a chance to show off baking skills. – @jaredlynne

10/ I organize everything I need in front of me before I begin any recipe, mise en place. – @blamemymigraine

11/ I wash fruits & veggies when I get home from the grocery store to save this step when I’m ready to prepare a meal. – @aleach61

12/ Blanch veggies and cook proteins, then store separately. – @kalynjrichmond

13/ I make sure I cut everything up the day I get it so when it’s time to prep it’s just a matter of cooking. – @eruiz217

14/ On Sundays I make soup for weekday lunches, make muffins for the family to grab quickly on the go and try to make 1-2 dinners for when we need a quick dinner after hockey practice ✅ prep is key! – @briescrafty

15/ Freezing chopped veggies for easy meals when I do not have time to chop. @lesh4537

16/ Buy already chopped veggies at the salad bar if you’re in a hurry. Make double and freeze. Involve your kids in planning and prepping! They’ll be more willing to eat what’s made. Write out a menu. – @tofumom

17/ Use dried/frozen fruits when not in season! Much tastier than trying to just use the fresh! – @thrivesonplants_8

18/ Tip: chop veggies you bought and put into containers. This way for few days it will be easy and quick to prepare your dish. – @vegangfheaven

19/ Cook in large batches and freeze what you don’t need! Keep it simple! Portion out food ahead of time. – @crazyrilee

20/ My tip is to plan the week’s meals and shop according to those meals! – @kjand3babes

21/ Measure and prep all your ingredients before cooking or baking a recipe. – @agewanter

22/ Meal prep for the whole week with simple dishes; my fave is overnight oats! – @thehealthyhipstah

23/ Cook eggs for the week in the air fryer, because they stay fresh in the shell & are ready to eat every morning. – @mwlubber

24/ My meal prep tip is to get the family involved. I give my 6 year old the cook book and ask him to select recipes for the week. Then we shop on Saturday or Sunday. He is excited to to cook dinners with me and I find he eats a wider variety of foods because he’s involved in the preparation. – @juvet

25/ I like to plan for meals with similar ingredients to cut down on the number of items that I need to buy and prep. – @clpatton

26/ Look at what is in the cupboard before meal planning and plan on leftovers. – @ellengarrett

27/ A sharp knife is key to getting veggies done fast. – @hels_bels27

28/ Having an instant pot has really upped my meal prepping! I just made a big batch of homemade apple sauce. 😍 – @aipzebra

29/ Prepping tip…remember the old adage FIFO (first in first out) label with tape and first in and you won’t have wasted prep. – @chefsherrid

30/ My tip would be to buy more fruits/veggies in season and can some for offseason dishes. – @elin_e_roberts

31/ To make a couple of big dishes; a whole chicken, meatloaf, for example, so that you can save money by getting a few meals from it. 💚 – @danaonig

32/ I often pre dice squash and other veggies and freeze for easy dinner prep. I also make fruit and veg purees ahead for healthy baking in a flash! – @joanneabove

33/ Best meal prep tip for me would be to have a check list.. if you don’t start with that you won’t be prepared…. – @lions_den_1

34/ Buy freezer containers. – @saladsandsuch

35/ Roast veggies ahead of time in big batches! – @collegeceliackc @hannah____vera

36/ The best tip I have is when you have plenty of guests coming (holidays, Bday, graduations, etc…), I always write a menu down at least a week in advance, buy my ingredients and meal prep (chopping seasonings, getting my pots, pans& utensils organized, season meats) so everything can go as smooth as possible on the big day. – @redstickrick

37/ I love making extra whole wheat waffles on Sunday for healthier fast breakfasts for the kids. – @mrscole131

38/ Make extra Muffins and freeze em! – @kjoleenkh

39/ I like to make extra pancakes and either refrigerate (or freeze for longer freshness) then just pop in microwave or toaster oven. – @shivamin2000

40/ Set out all the ingredients for a meal ahead of time before starting to cook. – @wizardewu

41/ Sunday is good prep day. Prep all veggies and fruit for a quick and easy week. – @strengthofthevine

42/ Multitasking – bake while cutting up veggies or using the stovetop for other cooking. – @snackinspo

43/ Then look up healthy recipes online for their products to make your meal prep. Also work with a friend or family member to meal prep together that way the cost and labor is shared. 😉😃 – @jolyndoglover

44/ Prep slow cooker ingredients and freeze. – @munozai82

45/ Have a stock of different spices and sauces on hand to flavor meat and veggies for a quick saute. – @hlee99

46/ Enlist family to help. – @margaretsilebi

Share your meal prep ideas with us in the comments below. We are always looking for new meal preparation ideas!

Fig Oatmeal Energy Ball Recipe

This energy ball recipe makes a perfect snack for post-workouts or to tuck into lunchboxes. Full of dried figs, this oatmeal energy ball recipe is no-bake.

This California Fig oatmeal energy ball recipe is the perfect healthy snack! Made with only a few ingredients like our juicy Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Mission Figs, whole grain oats, and peanut butter, this energy ball recipe is tasty and easy to make. These balls are great for pre-workout, a healthy afternoon treat, or just anytime you’re craving a little something sweet!

Check out the substitutions below the recipe to find other ideas to make this oatmeal energy ball recipe your own. (We think some cacao nibs might be amazing added in!)


This energy ball recipe makes a perfect snack for post-workouts or to tuck into lunchboxes. Full of dried figs, this oatmeal energy ball recipe is no-bake.

Fig Oatmeal Energy Ball Recipe

Course Snack
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 15

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut shreds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse oats until finely processed and a flour like consistency.

  2. Add California Figs, peanut butter, coconut shreds, and cinnamon. Pulse until batter begins to come together pulling from the sides of the food processor.

  3. Roll dough into 1 tablespoon size bites. Lay bites on a parchment paper lined sheet and cool in the fridge for one hour so the bites can firm up.

  4. After energy balls have firmed up, transfer to an airtight container in the refrigerator. Store for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions:

  • You can sub peanut butter for sunflower seed or almond butter in the energy ball recipe.
  • You can sub old-fashioned oatmeal with quick cook oatmeal. You can’t use steel cut oatmeal.

Recipe and photos by Elizabeth Falcigno

This energy ball recipe makes a perfect snack for post-workouts or to tuck into lunchboxes. Full of dried figs, this oatmeal energy ball recipe is no-bake.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re  cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Whole Wheat Muffins with Figs

whole wheat muffins with dried figs will make you a hit at the office. Bring a batch and share them with co-workers!

This post has been brought to you by our friends at Bob’s Red Mill.
__________________________________________________

This New Year we’re partnering with our friends from Valley Fig Growers to bring you some smart & achievable meal prep tips, amazing recipes, and just maybe – a prize pack to start you off on the right foot. Keep reading to learn more!

During the month of January you’ll be seeing Valley Fig Growers’ California Mission Dried Figs and our Organic Whole Wheat Flour or Organic Farro featured in some super tasty and prep-friendly recipes from several savvy food bloggers. Along with a recipe, they’ll be sharing their own meal prep tips and ideas about setting SMART goals.

Whole wheat muffins with dried figs will be the healthy on-the-go breakfast you'll prep on Sunday for a successful week ahead.

We couldn’t wait to jump into the kitchen after we opened up a bag of California Mission Figs. Just like our Organic Whole Wheat Flour, they are a great source of dietary fiber and are also rich in potassium, iron, calcium, and antioxidants. Their balanced sweetness makes them perfect for baking, helping you reduce the added sugar without compromising on flavor (and they make amazing whole wheat muffins with figs!).

Whole wheat muffins with dried figs are great mid-morning snacks or great on-the-go for breakfast.

Whole Wheat Muffins with Figs

With just a quick prep, these mini muffins, featuring Organic Whole Wheat Flour and Organic Mission Figs, will be in the oven in less than 15 minutes and you’ll have all week to enjoy them. They are lightly sweetened, full of protein and fiber, and perfect for preventing those mid-morning moments of hanger.

Makes 16 mini muffins

INGREDIENTS:

Whole Wheat Muffins

Streusel (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line or spray mini muffin tin. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg, and Greek yogurt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, then fold in California Figs.
  5. Divide batter evenly between 16 mini muffin cups.
  6. To make the streusel: mix together oats, flour, brown sugar and softened butter in a small bowl until crumbly. Spoon streusel atop muffin batter and bake for 13-15 minutes.

whole wheat muffins with dried figs are hearty for breakfast.

Enter to Win

Ready and excited to dive into the New Year with new meal prep ideas and goals? You’ll be excited to hear – we’re partnering with Valley Fig Growers to give YOU the opportunity to win a stunning prize that will help you meet your goals.

HOW TO ENTER:

  1. On Instagram, follow @bobsredmill and @valleyfig
  2. Comment on this post with a meal prep tip and tag 2 friends so they can see your tip too!

WHAT YOU WIN:

  • 1 bag of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Farro
  • 1 bag of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 bag of Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice California Figlets
  • 1 bag of Sun-Maid California Mission Figs
  • 1 Food Journal from @thehandwritingclub

We will randomly select 2 winners (one from the @bobsredmill feed and one from the @valleyfig feed) and notify them on 01/08 at 4PM PST by private message. Good luck!

You can find both Bob’s Red Mill and Valley Fig Growers products across the US at your favorite grocery stores. Check the Store Locator on both of our websites to find where our products are sold.

To enter the giveaway you must be 18+ years and a US or Canada resident. This promotion is not sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram. Winner must respond within 3 days to winning direct message or will end up forfeiting their prize.

Instant Pot Bacon Jam Appetizer with Dried Figs

Let’s talk for a moment about our favorite ways to say sayonara to the year that was and to welcome the New Year. Something bubbly is always a good idea and this year instead of focusing on a lavish sit-down dinner, we are all about delightful bites and planning out a charcuterie board menu, brimming with different cheeses too. A charcuterie, antipasti, or cheese board are the perfect kind of things to pull together to snack on if you’re staying in and playing board games or if you’re hosting a dressy gathering and need something easy that’s also easy on the eyes! That’s where this bacon jam appetizer particularly shines.

Once we tasted Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon, we knew that it would make sweet music cooked down with our California Mission Dried Figs and we were right! This fig bacon jam is kind of addictive in the best possible way. Sure, you could eat the bacon jam appetizer as part of a starter or you could add it as a condiment on a sandwich (a sharp cheddar grilled cheese would be amazing!), but back to the charcuterie board menu. Curl a few slices of ham and turkey to tile on the board. Add crackers. Some different kinds of salami and figgy bacon jam and you are done.

If you’ve never made a bacon jam before, they typically cook low and slow for hours to ensure the onion and bacon are soft and jammy. We wanted to flip that script and save time using our electric pressure cooker—it takes around 40 minutes of mostly passive time for jam. Did we mention this fig bacon jam would make an incredible edible gift too? We found the recipe below easily tucks into 3 half pint glass jars.  Store the bacon jam in the refrigerator where it will keep for 2 to 4 weeks or you can freeze it for longer storage.

Instant Pot Bacon Jam Appetizer with Figs also makes incredible edible gifts!

Instant Pot Bacon Jam with Dried Figs

Course Cheese Plates

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) package Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 pound shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 10 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Instructions

  1. Place the chopped bacon into the pot of your electric pressure cooker. Cook and stir for 5 minutes using the Saute feature, as it begins to release grease and cook a bit. Stir in the shallots, California Figs, salt, and pepper. Saute for an additional 3 minutes, stirring to combine.

  2. Cover and set the release valve to seal, cooking on high pressure for 10 minutes. Adjust the release valve to vent. Once the steam has fully escaped, open the pressure cooker and stir the fig bacon mixture.

  3. Repeat step 2 two more times, stirring after each batch—you will cook the bacon mixture a total of 30 minutes in the electric pressure cooker.

  4. Stir in the vinegar. Transfer the fig bacon mixture to a food processor and pulse until chunky for more of a relish or about 10 pulses for jam.

Balsamic Fig Shrub

Fig Balsamic Shrub

Shrubs, for those of you who aren’t familiar with them, are vinegar-based syrups.  They’re made by mashing fruit with sugar and then soaking the fruit in vinegar for a week.  The resulting vinegar shrub is a slightly acidic, sweet, and fruity liquid that can be added to a cocktail to give it a little zip. This fig shrub includes our California Mission Dried Figs for a deep and earthy sweetness. Balsamic vinegar and California Figs are a perfect pair– we like them as a sauce spooned over spinach, or as a glaze drizzled on watermelon. This fruit shrub made with dried figs is great in cocktails (stay tuned!) and is a great mixer with sparkling water too.

Balsamic Fig Shrub

Course Drinks
Calories 25 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, add the cut up figs. Sprinkle the sugar on top and then mix together until all the fruit is coated with sugar. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature.

  2. Mash fruit with a wooden spoon. Once you have done so, let sit for another hour. Mash the fruit one last time. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

  3. Add in the vinegars, stir, and let sit, covered, for one week, making sure to give it a good stir every day.

  4. After a week, strain any larger pieces from the mixture and save the balsamic fig shrub in a mason jar for up to 3 weeks.

Recipe and photo by Brian Samuels

Watermelon Pizza with Balsamic Fig Glaze

Get ready for your next favorite summer appetizer: watermelon pizza with balsamic fig glaze.

Is there anything more essential to summer than cool, crisp slices of watermelon? They’re juicy and just what you want to eat for a healthy dessert… but if you’ve ever tried a sprinkle of salt on watermelon, you know how it amplifies the sweet fruity flavor. We’ve got a fun way to bring a whole watermelon to the table differently as an appetizer: watermelon pizza! Top each slice with feta cheese crumbles, fresh oregano leaves (or use shredded fresh basil / mint leaves), and crunchy Maldon salt, but what makes these slices sizzle is the balsamic fig glaze made of California Figs. You’ll find this glaze to be just about perfect for drizzling on a wheel of Brie, to serve on a cheese board, or even to drizzle on grilled meat.

Watermelon Pizza with Balsamic Fig Glaze

Course Appetizer
Servings 36 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Mission Figs
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (10-pound) watermelon
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, (3.5 ounces)
  • Oregano leaves
  • Maldon flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. To make balsamic fig glaze: stem and mince the figs. Pour the vinegar into a small saucepan. Stir in the figs and sugar. Turn the heat onto medium high and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool for 10 minutes.

  2. Slice the watermelon into six 1-inch rounds. Cut each watermelon round into six wedges.

  3. Drizzle the balsamic fig glaze over the slices and sprinkle on feta, oregano, and Maldon salt.

Recipe and photo by Annelies Zijderveld

Preserved Lemon Chicken with Almonds and Figs

Preserved Lemon Chicken with California Figs and Almonds is a perfectly delicious main dish for Passover.

This Sephardic-inspired dish is one of our favorite chicken recipes for Passover Seders. With preserved lemon, a hint of sweetness from California figs, and warm spices of cinnamon and allspice, this dish of chicken with almonds is great the rest of the year too. Serve with quinoa or mashed potatoes to soak up the fragrant sauce.

One of the first fruits to be cultivated by people, figs are as meaningful and symbolic as they are sweet and delicious. Jews consider figs to be particularly holy because they were one of the seven staple foods, known as the Seven Species, eaten by Jews in the land of Israel during Biblical times.

Preserved Lemon Chicken with Almonds & Figs

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole cut-up chicken, about 4 pounds
  • 3 shallots, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon diced preserved lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs
  • 5 sprigs thyme plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pat dry the chicken pieces and season well with salt and pepper.

  2. Place the chicken pieces skin-side down in the skillet and cook until the skin is golden brown, about ten minutes. Turn and brown the other side.

  3. Remove chicken to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan.

  4. Add the shallots, garlic and preserved lemon to the pan and sauté over medium heat until softened, about five minutes.

  5. Add the cinnamon and allspice and sauté a few additional minutes until fragrant.

  6. Add the chicken broth to the pan and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet.

  7. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, arranging them in a single layer. Add the figs and thyme and raise the heat to high.

  8. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the skillet and turn heat down to low. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, about 20 minutes.

  9. While the chicken is cooking, toast the almonds in a dry skillet for a few minutes until golden and fragrant - watch carefully so that they don't burn.

  10. To serve, arrange the chicken and figs on a platter. Spoon sauce over chicken and top with toasted almonds. Garnish with a few additional sprigs of thyme if desired.

Recipe Notes

Note: A staple of Middle Eastern cooking, preserved lemons add a unique pickled tanginess to North African-inspired dishes such as this one. You can find jars of preserved lemons in good grocery stores or Middle Eastern markets or make your own. If you are not able to source preserved lemons, you can substitute cooked fresh lemon. Combine one thinly sliced lemon with a half cup of fresh lemon juice and two teaspoons of kosher salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until lemon slices are tender, about ten minutes. Cool and chop.

Recipe and photo by Emily Paster

Spinach, Brie Grilled Cheese with Figs

Get your greens in with this spinach Brie grilled cheese.

Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese? Something about this cheese sandwich makes us want to melt. But, have you ever tried a Brie grilled cheese? This is a delightful way to dress up a familiar sandwich and the addition of spinach is a great way to get your greens in. We have a hunch that one taste of this spinach grilled cheese with Brie and our California Figs will make this a new family favorite.

Spinach, Brie Grilled Cheese with Figs


Course Main Course
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, sliced
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and drained
  • 8 slices sourdough or boule bread
  • 8 ounces Brie cheese (more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs, stemmed and thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, melt 1/4 tablespoon butter. Add onions and salt, and cook over low heat for 7-10 minutes. Remove onions and set aside.

  2. In same skillet, melt 1/4 tablespoon butter. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add spinach and stir until wilted.

  3. ONIONS OPTION: You can skip cooking the onions separately. If so, then DICE the onions, and add them to the skillet 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic.

  4. Lay 4 slices of bread on a flat surface. Spread cheese equally across all 4 slices of bread. Top with figs and then spinach mixture, all spread equally across bread slices. Cover each with top slice of bread, and butter the outside of the top slices.

  5. Turn on heat to medium. When skillet is warm, add sandwiches, buttered side down.

  6. Place another clean skillet on top of sandwiches, and press down. You should hear a little bit of sizzle. Toast bread for 3 minutes. Remove top skillet, and butter the bread. Carefully flip sandwiches over, and replace the clean skillet on top. Toast for another 3 1/2 minutes.

  7. Remove sandwiches and repeat with remaining sandwiches. Slice sandwiches in half, and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

NOTE ON CHEESE: I use 2 ounces of cheese per sandwiches. Of course, you can use more or less, to taste. With 2 ounces you won't get the dripping, melty cheese, but the cheese still melts beautifully into the sandwich.

Recipe and photo by Karyl Henry